Applying for a green card is not free of charge. Depending on what stage you are at in the application process, you will incur various fees. In this article, we will discuss the petitions, forms, and additional administrative fees you will need to pay to obtain your green card.
Fees for Petitions
In order to obtain permanent residency or a green card, you must file a petition that is approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition must be filed by an immediate family member (fiancé/spouse, child, parent, or sibling) if you are applying for a family-based green card, by your employer if you are working in the U.S., or by you, the petitioner, if you plan to invest in the U.S. The petition fee must be paid by the petitioner.
The petition fee must be paid to USCIS by the petitioner. Therefore, if someone else files the petition on your behalf, the petitioner must pay the fee. If the fee has not been paid, the petition will not be processed. Below is a list of the most common petitions, their fees, and the types of immigrant visas that are required.
- Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) – This form costs $535 and is required for a K-1 visa for an alien fiancé.
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative – This form costs $535 and is required for the following visas.
- K-3 visas, spouses of U.S. citizens awaiting approval of an I-130 immigration petition.
- F-1 visas: unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their minor children
- F-2A visas: spouses and minor children of U.S. permanent residents (LPRs)
- F-2B visas: unmarried children of U.S. permanent residents who are 21 years of age or older.
- F-3 visas are for married children of U.S. citizens traveling to the U.S. with their spouse and minor children.
- F-4 visas are for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens traveling to the U.S. with their spouses and minor children.
- IR-1 visa for the spouse of a U.S. citizen.
- IR-2 visas for unmarried children of U.S. citizens under 21 years of age
- IR-5 visas for parents of U.S. citizens over 21 years of age
- Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker – This form costs $700 and is required to obtain the following visas.
- EB-1 Visa (First Preference Worker Visa) – for outstanding professors, researchers, persons of exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, business, sports, or education, and executives who have worked for a foreign subsidiary of a U.S. company in the past three years
- EB-2 visa (Second Preference Worker Visa): for professionals with advanced degrees and exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business.
- EB-3 visas or third preference worker visas are for skilled workers with two or more years of experience, skilled workers with advanced degrees, or unskilled workers with less than two years of experience (EW-3 visas).
- Form I-360 Petition for Amerasian Widow(er) or Special Immigrant – This form costs $435 and is for EB-4 visas for employees of various religious, governmental, or international organizations or a fourth preference worker visa.
- Form I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur – The cost of this form is $3,675 and must be paid by the person applying for the visa. This form is required for EB-5 or Fifth Preference Worker visas for investors in the U.S. who will invest between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in the U.S. The form is not required for EB-5 visas. EB-5 visas are available in the following categories, and the fee applies to all of them
- C-5 visas: for investors who will create jobs outside the target area.
- T-5 visas are for investors who will create jobs in certain rural or high unemployment areas
- R-5 visas are for investors who will participate in the investor pilot program outside the target area.
- I-5 visas are for investors who will participate in the investor pilot program in a targeted area
- Form I-600/600A Petition to Classify Orphan as Immediate Relative/Application for Early Petition Processing of Orphan Petition – The cost of this form is $775 and is valid for the following visas.
- IR-3 visa for a child adopted by a U.S. citizen abroad who does not comply with the Hague Convention
- IR-4 visa for children from Hague Convention countries adopted in the U.S. by U.S. citizens
- Form I-800/800A Application for Classification of Convention Adoptee as Immediate Relative/Application for Determination of Eligibility for Convention Adoption Country – This form costs $775 and is required for these visas.
- IR-3 visa for children from non-Hague Convention countries adopted by U.S. citizens abroad.
- IR-4 visa for a child from a Hague Convention country adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
Green Card Application Fee
After your petition has been processed and approved by USCIS, you must apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy in your country of residence. An application fee must be paid at the time of application. These fees are paid by the petitioner, not the petitioner. Depending on which visa you are applying for, you will need to submit one of three types of application forms
- Form DS-160
- Form DS-260
- Form DS-261
The fees for a green card application are as follows:
Green Card Application Supporting Fees
In addition to the application fee, there are a number of other fees that must be paid to apply for a green card. The most common fees that an immigrant applicant must pay are.
Medical examination fees
All individuals who wish to immigrate to the United States must undergo a medical examination and receive immunizations.
This is to ensure that you are in good health and that you have received all vaccinations required in the United States.
Therefore, you will need to undergo this examination prior to your interview and, in most cases, pay for it yourself. The exact amount will depend on the type of examination required by the U.S. Embassy and the cost of the medical examination in your country of residence.
Administrative fees related to filing, translating, copying, printing, notarizing etc.
In addition to medical expenses, you will most likely be asked to translate, certify, print, and copy documents from your native language. You must pay these fees in your country of residence.
USCIS immigrant fee
If your visa is approved, you must pay a USCIS immigration fee of $220 before you can travel to the United States. This fee is payable by all permanent residents of the United States.
In addition to the petition and application fees, there may be other fees that must be paid by the sponsor or the applicant.
DOL labor certification fees
If you are applying for an EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 visa, your employer must obtain a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This certification confirms to the USCIS that the company has made efforts to hire an employee who is a U.S. citizen or current permanent resident, but has been unable to do so. This may be because the person does not have the skills the company was looking for or because the person was not available or willing to take the job.
In the process of obtaining this skill, companies will have to pay various costs for job advertisements, recruiting costs, filing costs, etc. The exact amount depends on the current market rate and the rate required by the DOL.
Diversity Visa Lottery
If you are not applying for an immigrant visa and are applying for a diversity visa, the only initial cost is the lottery application fee ($330).
Fees to be paid after you move to the U.S
Once you have immigrated to the U.S. on an immigrant visa, you will have to pay some additional fees to qualify for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. Typically, there are two forms that the applicant must pay for, and these are the fees
- Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization – This form is available to immigrant visa applicants who are waiting for Form I-130 processing and are currently in the U.S. (K-3 visa) ($410).
- Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status – This form is for immigrant visa applicants who need permanent residency and costs $1, 140.00.
- Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (for certain applicants below the age of 14 years) – This form is for immigrant visa holders under the age of 14. The cost is $750.
Health Insurance Fees for Green Card Holders
The cost of health insurance for green card holders varies depending on your situation and the plan you choose.